1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
First time on a ship this size (cruised on the Independence and Jewel in the past). The ship is BEAUTIFUL! So clean and comfortable. Our vacation started a little rocky with a very noisy group in the adjoined interior room, and when I ... Read More
First time on a ship this size (cruised on the Independence and Jewel in the past). The ship is BEAUTIFUL! So clean and comfortable. Our vacation started a little rocky with a very noisy group in the adjoined interior room, and when I say very noisy, I'm being polite. It was BAD - no sleep bad. I give it to RC for making things right even though it wasn't their fault at all. On the 3rd day, they voluntarily moved us to an ocean front balcony in the very back of the ship - 14th floor. We never asked to be moved. It was a major difference from where we came from - so peaceful and relaxing, just a beautiful room with a beautiful view. Sold me for future cruises - an ocean front balcony it is! They also voluntarily gave us 15% off our next cruise for the inconvenience of having to unpack, repack, and unpack again. I can't say enough about how much we truly appreciated the fact that they seemed to really care if we were having a good vacation. They checked on us several times throughout the week to make sure we were okay and to make sure things got better for us. To this day, I'm still amazed at the service they provided. I have never experienced that anywhere else. Props to Royal Caribbean Guest Services Department! THANK YOU SO MUCH! The rest of our vacation was amazing. We had fun relaxing in the pools, chatting with people, and soaking up the beautiful sunny weather we were fortunate enough to get during our week. It was fun checking out all the different areas of the ship. Central Park is lovely, peaceful and relaxing, and we enjoyed it several different nights. Also enjoyed some fun nights in the casino. I would highly recommend making advance reservations for the all the shows. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that you needed advance reservations so we didn't get to see any of them, and I really wanted to see the comedian. Oh well. Next time. And there WILL BE a next time! We enjoyed visiting the islands and did two fun excursions. In Roatan, I highly recommend the excursion to private island, Maya Key. What a beautiful little island, extremely clean, really nice beach, monkeys, leopard, mountain lions, ocelot and exotic birds (in cages - rehabbing), good lunch provided, waiters serving drinks on the beach, nice walk, and the ABSOLUTE BEST snorkeling we have ever done (and we've snorkeled tons of times at different islands). The reef is UNREAL! Just beautiful and alive and thriving. Biggest fish we've ever seen while snorkeling. A great experience and highly recommend this excursion. We also did the Amazing Secret River in Cozumel. Had a wonderful time. The down side is it does take kind of long to get there, 30-min ferry ride, followed by a short walk, 15 minutes of instruction, and then followed by a 30-min van ride through the jungle, and yes, the road was bumpy but it was no problem whatsoever. Just note that there is some waiting around time. We had a wonderful guide, Enrique, who was very accommodating to all the guests, extremely informed and shared a lot of history about the cave. It was just beautiful in there. After the cave visit, you get a delicious, authentic Mexican buffet meal before heading back to do a little shopping at Playa del Carmen. Great day! Overall, we had a wonderful vacation, a few bumps in the beginning, but again RC Guest Services did an amazing job turning it around for us. We will definitely be cruising again and will definitely choose RC ships. Highly recommend the Symphony of the Seas! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise did well at improving everything that makes vacations and travelling annoying. Embarkation is quick if you come early, staterooms are cool and comforting, and the architecture and activities onboard make you forget there are ... Read More
This cruise did well at improving everything that makes vacations and travelling annoying. Embarkation is quick if you come early, staterooms are cool and comforting, and the architecture and activities onboard make you forget there are 6500 people. We loved the random nooks of inviting ambiance, like the live Jazz on 4, the Bionic bar, Vintages wine bar, all excellent, and then when we want sun and conversation the Solarium is the perfect luxurious spot. The unique and engaging nature of the whole ship makes it great for all ages. If anything could be improved, it would be the vegetarian options. Or more like option, since you only get one choice wherever you eat except at the buffets. Formal dining and specialty dining vegetarian options are delicious but unimaginative. We loved the casino, the atmosphere is spot on and it's never overcrowded. Also highly recommend springing for the deluxe drinks package and the ocean view stateroom. I wish the all access tour wasnt so expensive and only two time options, I'd love to see how this ship works. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Wanted to be on the largest ship in the world . This ship is especially great for kids ; it’s got everything from ocean surfing to rock climbing walls ; plus the staff really takes care of the little ones. Food is good . I was ... Read More
Wanted to be on the largest ship in the world . This ship is especially great for kids ; it’s got everything from ocean surfing to rock climbing walls ; plus the staff really takes care of the little ones. Food is good . I was very impressed. We had the Suite Class with a big room . It was nice ; however we are under the pool area . Do not get this location. Drop down to the 12 th floor . Too noisy in this room ! Staff is extremely friendly . Ship has all the modern and latest systems on board . Recommend the beverage package , because you get hit for any drink, from water to wine and cocktails. The package will pay off plus you ere not getting hit with a tab every time you order a beverage. Also of course you should choose your excursions carefully, because they are a la cartel too . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Family of 4 (2-14 yr. old teen twin girls, couple early 50's ) living in the Midwest (where it's cold) attempting to recreate the beauty of our previous Spring Break sailing on the Allure. Our overall cruise line history ... Read More
Family of 4 (2-14 yr. old teen twin girls, couple early 50's ) living in the Midwest (where it's cold) attempting to recreate the beauty of our previous Spring Break sailing on the Allure. Our overall cruise line history includes Celebrity, NCL and other RC ships. I have also cruised on Princess and enjoyed it. Trying to figure out if I can be a RC loyalist, but I'm not there yet. The one thing we look forward to is an active cruise. I will start by saying that we had a great vacation experience. Overall the ship offers something for everyone. To have the best experience it is recommended to know what you want to enjoy because there is a lot to pick from and you can easily end up bored, because you didn't make decisions. It has unique art throughout and the ship is very nice and well maintained. Although it's a large ship it didn't feel overly crowded, but there are a lot of folks contained on the ship. The highlights of the trip include; Embarkation, entertainment, MDR for dinner (scheduled My Time Dining), cabin and shore excursions. All of those items get a 10+. Highlights include: Embarkation\Disembarkation: 10 minute embarkation process, no counters. I would absolutely encourage pre-check in online. If a picture is needed they take it with an I-Pad before you proceed to the ship. Disembarking was typical and the port area gets rather congested. I would recommended early or late disembarkation. The exit through customs is done by facial recognition which seemed to make this faster. Cabin: We had 2 adjacent Balcony cabins (4D) the room offers 2 closets and ample storage space. If you are particular about bed location, be sure to ask as some beds are against the sliding glass doors and some are closer to entry way. Also the lights are controlled by having your key card in the reader. The décor is modern and the room is fairly typical. TV is not great. Movies cost over 10.00...for those times you just want to lounge... Entertainment: All shows were exceptional. My kid had to explain HIRO to me...My favorites were Hairspray, Ice Skate 2.0 and Flight. I was only able to join one comedy show in the large theater and one of the comedians was excellent. The one thing I found annoying was the saving of large numbers of seats. Although they have a rule against it, it was often done and annoying. I recommend scheduling in advance, and if not being in line early for those things you didn't schedule. Pay attention to the Cruise COMPASS on your TV or in the hallways as things are added that you may miss if you just look at the printed Cruise Compass delivered to your room. All of the musical acts performing in different venues were great. The one thing I wish was better is that the pool band was hidden in an alcove between the pools so you could hear the music but not really experience vibing with the band. Ship: With this being a fairly new ship, it is in great condition and is maintained well. The bathrooms offer the no touch entry and exit and the restaurants offer sinks to wash your hands vs. just using hand sanitizer. The art throughout is unique and nice. The main promenade is well thought out and identical to other Oasis ships. I tried to understand what was exactly different. The casino has a smoker and non smoker side, but no real separator if that is your concern. I did witness staff removing items from those pool chair savers after prolonged time periods. As with every ship, on sea days with good weather get to the pool before 9 for a good spot. I would want other outside venues other than on the running track floor, the Promenade and the pool deck. The ship celebrated their 1 year anniversary during the sailing. Anniversary lanyards and magnets were provided along with a picture of the crew and had special events along with cake and different foods offered. Now to the opportunities. First off the ship didn't have that fun\happy vibe... lots of people were moving here and there but it more or less seemed like a dead hotel on the water. It was eerily quiet...no laughter buzz... The staff seemed tired, and although responded to requests were not friendly. Everyone seemed as if they were following the script to get the 10 for the post survey review. You rarely saw staff members smiling, or if you passed a staff member in the hallway they didn't greet you or even look you in the eye. This was common. We had a situation where the Bionic Bar didn't quite work as anticipated and the attendant spoke to us as if we were stupid. Annoying..... The food in the buffet was terrible, cold in some instances and very rarely different. While I may not prefer buffets I have not had an issue finding something I could enjoy. I stayed away. The Mexican spot, El Loco Fresh was a nice change and we ate there frequently. Typically we enjoy dining in the MDR for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, but the breakfast offered buffet and a la carte and the a la carte was the buffet food for the most part. I am accustomed to having a special offering for a la carte and that was not present. One nice thing about the MDR is that they make omelets made to order. Dinner, however was a highlight and we thoroughly enjoyed the service and food. We had 2 Specialty dinners, Hibachi and Wonderland. Hibachi was great due to the chef and Wonderland was different. We enjoyed the food and the experience, but I can cross it off the list and not go back again. Room service and continental breakfast were lacking. The coffee tasted like mud, and I would ask for extra cream and always get 5 creamers...so I stopped ordering. There is an additional charge for room service and I would say only pay it if you absolutely need to something delivered to you personally and cannot or choose not to get up and go to various eateries... Service: Our room cabin Jeremiah was great and attentive and proactive without being in the way. In some of the specialty shops we were not acknowledged so we walked out...the guest services area on the last night of the cruise had their lights off. This was annoying because of course many people were attempting to settle a bill and could not see..also a non-welcoming thing to do, understanding they are 24/7. We had drink packages and bar service was good. Excursions: We had 2, one on St. Marten and one in Nassau. I swore I would never get off the ship in Nassau again, but we were whisked off to a private island and the experience was magnificent. The only downside was that the ports were busy due to Spring Break and you spent a lot of time waiting around, congregating. Spa and Fitness: My husband booked a massage and was hoping that he could use the amenities. He thoroughly enjoyed the service, but they whisked him off so quickly he didn't get to see the amenities. Typically, I would book access or get a Spa room, but this one is not open to the sun so what's the point. The running track is on a lower deck where the gym can be accessed. The teens took advantage of the rock climbing wall, mini golf, shuffle board, ping pong, flow-riders etc. video arcade, water and dry slides. They tried ice skating and said the rink was not groomed making it difficult to skate. Couldn't get into Laser Tag because it conflicted with other planned events. We did the Sushi making class and enjoyed it. Overall, it was another RC experience under our belts. Unless some really great deal comes along I would not sail on this particular ship again. But I'm still partial to RC for the family with NCL running a close tie...Food and service are the tie-breakers on the next ship choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
It has been a while since I posted a review but felt compelled because of my overall amazing experience! My husband, myself and our 23 year old son boarded the Symphony of the Seas on March 30, 2019 out of Miami. Here are my thoughts based ... Read More
It has been a while since I posted a review but felt compelled because of my overall amazing experience! My husband, myself and our 23 year old son boarded the Symphony of the Seas on March 30, 2019 out of Miami. Here are my thoughts based on a my perspective as a Type A organization and Luxe traveller. Embarkation: So easy and fast! We arrived by Uber to the new RCCL terminal and were deposited at the Suite Line at approximately 12:30 PM/ My first impression walking in to the building was, "WOW!" the lightness and amazing propeller artwork made us stop and look around even though we were being ushered to take the elevator up to the suite check in. I had completed all of the pre-checkin and had our setsail passes in hand. We exited into a lounge area where I thought there might be a lineup. NOPE! Royal had their associates come to us as we sat down and checked us in in under 2 minutes! No time for tea and cookies! No problem....the Symphony beckoned! I am not kidding when I say that it was 10 minutes from our curbside drop off to boarding our ship. Well done Royal! I must give some background info so that any readers have perspective. We have sailed in suites on the Oasis twice and the Allure once in the past as well as on other Royal Caribbean ships. Our family all has Diamond status. We are familiar with the layout of this beautiful mega ship and did not need to tour around to discover our bearings. We walked through the Promenade and took the aft elevators up to the Suite Lounge/Coastal Kitchen on the 17th floor where I knew it would be less hectic and we could order lunch in a calm environment. We met our most incredible suite concierges, Rahul and Jennie. Simply, they are amazing! Excellent ambassadors for the Royal Caribbean brand, smart, savvy, engaging, intelligent and will do their upmost to make your vacation special and memorable. We were seated immediately for lunch and I recognized one of waiters from a past cruise on the Allure! Bogdan! :) He became our favorite waiter once again in the CK! Excellent service always with a smile! We also met our most special barkeeps in the Suite Lounge, Koko and Max! Again, such amazing staff! We finished our lunch (BTW, CK salads are delish...beet salad, spinach and shrimp, wedge....They became my go-to for lunch everyday!) My DH and DS declared the Warm Chicken breast sandwich one of the best ever, which was apparent as they continued to order this dish several times during our week onboard. Also, if you have not sailed in a suite on the "big ships", there is gratis wine and beer from 11am-11pm(?) that our bartenders and waiters would serve while having lunch. Nice. The Suite Lounge also serves cocktails between 4:30-8:00PM. This is certainly a "suite perk. We left the CK Lounge and proceeded to our Crown Loft Suite on the same floor. Crown Loft Suite: We were in a CL1 with a wonderful view of the ocean! On arrival, our suite was immaculately clean and everything was well laid out. Our room keys and Royal bands were waiting for us! I always cruise in suite (don't flame me :) ) but this was the first in a loft suite. I must say the view looking out the 2 stories of windows onto our deck and downtown Miami was quite incredible. We chose this suite as the 2 bedroom Grand Suites were not available. We appreciate having 2 washrooms when everyone is trying to get ready and out the door. I found that there was adequate closet and storage space, and it was convenient to move the sliding table to the wall to free up more space. The hide-abed on the main floor, was actually queen size and my 23 year old son stated that it was quite comfortable. I found our king bed in the loft to be a bit on the firm side, but again this is all personal preference. My only criticism of the suite, was that the lighting in the loft vanity area was dim and a lit vanity mirror would have been very welcomed. Our suite attendants, Phil and Chris were great! We always came back to a fresh room and some fun towel animals! Thank you guys! Restaurants: So, I must preface that my family is well traveled and have experienced some amazing restaurants including Michelin starred establishments. Only mentioning this so you understand my perspective on the ship's dining venues. And again, food is very subjective. I will also add that although we did not always enjoy the food, we always appreciated the wonderful servers and did not create a fuss when dishes were not up to our expectations. (LOL. Sorry, polite Canadians!) We always tipped our servers well. Windjammer: Never stepped foot in the place. I do not care to join long lines to find what I want to eat and then try to find a place to sit. Just not my thing. Sorry. Main Dining Room: Sorry, we were no shows here as well. Our previous experiences (the food NOT the waiters) in the MDR have been below expectations. Wonderland: Meh? OK. Glad we checked it out. Neat decor, great cocktails, fun visit from the MadHatter but the food.......appies were the best out of all the dishes. Will not repeat. Jamie's Kitchen: We enjoyed. Great calamari starter, great salads, and good mains. My son had the chocolate brownie for dessert! He said it was fantastic. Recommend this venue. Izumi: We dined here twice (not the hibachi side.) Now it is not Nobu, but we love fish and sushi and enjoyed our time here. Hooked: Just pass!!! Take Red Lobster down a few notches and you have Hooked! My DH and DS ordered an assortment of raw oysters to start. They both said that the offerings had been frozen prior to serving....watery and not good. Our Maine Lobster was obviously baked in too much oil. YUCK! Our waiter here was great but sadly the food was not! El Loco Fresh: I had a salad that was prepackaged ( I do not care for buffets) but my DS and DH loaded up on some Mexican fajitas and said they were good! I think as stated before, that the Royal staff should clean up more often around the condiment sections. Looks a bit messy=unappetizing. Chops: We had reservations and cancelled based on some friends we had met in the Suite Lounge. We already had an amazing filet prepared perfectly in the Coastal Kitchen on our first night (absolutely recommended by Bogdan) and we were impressed. 105 Central Park: Did not have a good experience on our last cruise on Allure. This restaurant was not in the running. Coastal Kitchen: WOW! WOW! WOW! Ok, we figured this out very quickly. Best food IMHO on the ship served by very attentive and engaging waiters. This was OUR restaurant! The view and vibe only contributed more to the delicious dishes that were served to us. Truly the CK, Suite Lounge and the Suite Concierges are the reason to sail in a suite. It truly just elevates the experience. We are able to decide on which line we wish to cruise (which includes the luxury end ships.) However, we like all the activities and shows that the RCCL's Oasis class ships offer! Our suite experiences keep us coming back. Kudos to the chef and all of the staff at the CK and Lounge. Thank you! Shows: Just go to all of them! Another reason why we love Royal's big ships. Excellent productions! Enjoyed all of them including 1977 (ice show) which I had hesitated in attending. SO so glad I did. It was fantastic. A note to my readers, as a suite guest we did not need reservations except for the comedy show. We saw the long lines for guests who had not made reservations. Please make your rezzies ahead of time so that you will not miss all the wonderful shows. We did try out the casino for one night and left our token contribution. We are not big gamblers but like to pull the slots a couple times and play a little Blackjack. It is harder to win here compared to Vegas because of Royals' set odds/winnings at the tables. We did not return as even the non-smoking side became more smoky as the days went on! Enough to keep us out. Excursions: St. Maarten: Did a Royal excursion for beginning Scuba Divers. Well run and safe. Also did a bit of shopping. St. Thomas: Did another Royal excursion "Champagne Snorkelling and Catamaran Sail." Would recommend. Nassau: We have been here several times (both with cruises and island resorts.) There were 5 or 6 ships in port that day. We chose to stay onboard and enjoy the Symphony. Disembarkation: Our flight back to Canada out of MIA did not leave until noon. We had left all of our luggage except one suitcase out the night before. We had breakfast in the CK on departure morning. We finished packing and said goodbye to our lovely suite and vowed that we will return. As a suite guest, Rahul and Jennie were taking turns escorting suite guests off the ship, thereby passing some long lines. We exited to the terminal, quickly found our luggage in a suite section and then went to clear customs. Now here is our only snafu. American citizens were quickly filed into very fast moving facial recognition lines. Canadians and other non-US citizens had to go into another long line with 2 border agents. There was no fast track. Made our exit a bit disappointing. In summary, we had a great time on this beautiful ship. We enjoyed meeting new people who have become friends. We appreciated the very hard work provided with a smile that we found with all of the staff, EVERYWHERE! Again, this review is catered to people who chose to cruise in a suite. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending the Symphony's "Suiteness!" Happy and safe travels to all. :)Pam Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise was our second with our two daughters, their husbands, and four grands ages 14,16,17, and 18. Last cruise with them was two years ago on the Liberty. Picked the Symphony because of the new ship and the activities available on ... Read More
This cruise was our second with our two daughters, their husbands, and four grands ages 14,16,17, and 18. Last cruise with them was two years ago on the Liberty. Picked the Symphony because of the new ship and the activities available on the ship. Itinerary was St. Martin, St. Thomas, and Nassau. Kids arranged the port activities with the help of our head waiter who recommended places to go and things to see. Together they did a great. We flew in a day and a half early, rented a 12 passenger van, went to the everglades, took in an air boat ride through the everglades, and had an excellent gater show. Got rested up after our flight from Seattle at the Red Roof Inn by the airport. They were super accommodating and took us to the port. We were at the port a bit early (9:30). Checked our bags and walked right through security and into a huge waiting room in the beautiful new Terminal A. We waited about an hour and were then quickly on the ship. Our rooms were available at 1:00. We had five cabins in a row. Our cabin steward opened the doors on the balconies so we could have a single family balcony. During the cruise, he kept our rooms sparkling. The service was great. They were all great at what they did and very friendly. Met Captain Rob Hempstead who was around the ship and as friendly as the rest of his crew. Our families favorite part of the cruise was dinner. We had a beautiful table for ten in a great spot. Our waiter and assistant waiter were the best ever. As I said earlier, the head waiter was also the greatest, seeing us two or three times each dinner. Food in the dining room was some of the best of our 25 cruises. We especially enjoyed watching our grands trying new and different selections. We were a bit disappointed in in the Windjammer, but enjoyed the Park Cafe. So many choices for food and all were good. Did not try any of the specially venues of which I think there were ten. The entertainment was grand. Got reservations months earlier and went to all of the shows at least once. Loved the ice skating 1977, but liked the second show 2.0 better than the main show 1977. Don't miss it. I also loved the Flight: Dare to Dream. We were somewhat disappointed in the lack of around the ship entertainment. What we heard was excellent just not much of it. Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on. Just be ready for a lot of traffic congestion both before and after the cruise. We had several hour before our flight home so we rented a van and went to the Miami zoo. It was one of the best zoo's I have seen. The giraffes (must have been a dozen) were great! Overall we loved the Symphony for our family. My wife and I usually go Princess, but that would not be as good for four teens. Now we have to wait another 27 days to get on the Ruby Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We have not cruised in over 17 years so we decided to join our cruising friends on the Symphony. The ship is beautiful and clean, after a few days you will figure your way around the 16 decks. We did the specialty restaurants, Hooked, ... Read More
We have not cruised in over 17 years so we decided to join our cruising friends on the Symphony. The ship is beautiful and clean, after a few days you will figure your way around the 16 decks. We did the specialty restaurants, Hooked, 150Central, Jamies and Wonderland, our favorite has to be Wonderland, the food is amazing. We booked the specialty package so you need to go to Main dining when you board and secure your reservations, the employee that was booking us was new so we ended up with no reservations and had to revisit Main Dining the next day so we missed out on Chops.It would be nice if RC would let you book ahead of time but it is a huge cost saver versus booking individually. We did Hairspray and the Comedy Show and they were pretty good, we did get to Hairspray early for good seats, it was wasting 30 mins when you had already secured seats. Pools and hot tubs were well laid out and you could usually find a chair and you had the typical chair hogs but if you found a pool attendant they would remove the items and you were good to sit in the sun. The pool bars were hit or miss, our favorite was the Sports Bar with Stephanie & Tash. Sports pool is nice but pretty much closes down for volleyball everyday at 3 pm, off to find a new spot. We did do one excursion in Roatan, the private island was nice, the water beautiful and you could catch a ride back to the ship every 30 minutes. In Cozumel we grabbed a $17 taxi and spent the day at Paradise Beach, very nice, beach service, great food and clean facilities. We will be back on the Symphony in 2020 for a cruise to St. Kitts and St. Thomas - can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the ... Read More
Our 10th cruise, 4th with RCI. 2 adults (age 50-58), ocean view balcony cabin. Embarkation: super quick, but we got to the port at 10am. They started boarding the ship at 10:30 and we were on the ship at 10:50am getting drinks at the tides bar. Disembarkation: We always walk off with our bags. Went down to the Promenade at 6:15am, waited in line for 45 minutes (behind about 100 people already on line). Once they started the line, we went from line to taxi stand outside the terminal in about 10 minutes. We were at the car rental place by 7:25, too bad they didn't open until 8. I have say something about the cleanliness of this ship. All areas of the ship were clean and polished as usual, but the floors in the pool area and solarium area were just plain disgusting. I kept my crocs on the entire time I was in there - I even wore them in the pool and hot tubs - because the floor was just plain gross with drink/food spills, hair, dirt, etc. especially the steps. At first I thought it was from all the people, but it was like that first thing in the morning and I noticed the same "hair wad" on the steps to the hot tub that didn't move the entire 7 days we were on the ship. Ewe! We've been on the big ships including Oasis (May '15) and Allure (Dec. '15). We chose this cruise just for the ship because we love how well RCI handles large crowds, especially on these large ships. On Oasis and Allure, we never felt crowded, it just never felt like there were over 6,000 passengers on the ship. Unfortunately, Symphony's "improvements" simply crowded the open areas that are on Oasis and Allure. These improvements created crowds almost everywhere on the ship, especially in the solarium. On Oasis and Allure, the solarium is so large that at 11am on a sea day, there were still dozens of lounge chairs and by 3pm there were still empty chairs (we like to spend the whole day in there). On Symphony, all the loungers and chairs were taken with personal items by 9am - and the saddest thing is that many of them would not have people in them for hours (some didn't have people until after lunch!). One morning I woke up at 6am. Not wanting to bother the husband, I went to the solarium to read my kindle and ALL the round loungers (with egg-shaped surrounds) already had personal items on them (no people), ALL the round loungers without shades were taken, and more than HALF the regular lounge chairs had personal items on them. I watched those loungers ALL DAY and most of them didn't have people in them until well after lunch. The tiny 3ft pool (16 people max) and the 2 hot tubs were always full of people (except in the early morning and at dinner time). Frequently the little pool had double the max occupancy so it was "standing pool only". Another MAJOR disappointment was the diving show at the back of the ship. We've seen the dive shows on the other ships and it was highlight of our cruises so we couldn't wait to see the new Hiro show. Well, it just plain sucked. It sucked so bad, we wanted to leave. The show had no story at all, just samurai-dressed dancers. Sure the dancers were excellent, but they did the same dance moves to all the songs. The girl flying across the sky above the crowd was really cool - the first time. By the 10th time, it was just "her again?". And divers? Yeah, they dove from the lowest platform about 6 times, and one time from the high dive. That was it! It was a 45 minute dance show, not a dive show. The whole thing could have taken place on the main theater stage. We loved the iSkate show; didn't see any of the other stage shows. The comedians were terrible. We had reservations on the first night and after the show we were glad they both said they did the same routine in every set. Food was ok not great, but make reservations - even if you have "my time dining". The buffet food was mediocre and all the best food for all meals is in the back of the buffet. The new Mexican grill was excellent, very fresh, just get there early because it seems they are only open for a couple of hours for lunch. They do offer breakfast burritos sometimes, and they were good too. We didn't do any of the paid dining restaurants, but we did eat at the sports bar on the Boardwalk and that was good. To be honest: the best food on the ship is from room service. Totally worth the cost for $10 for all you can order. Sorrento's Pizza was much better on Symphony than on the Oasis and Allure a few years ago so I guess they improved the quality because usually the pizza is pretty bad, but this time was very tasty. All the crew members we interacted with were polite and nice. Occasionally there was a grumpy bar tender in the solarium but they were way under staffed. The exercise gym was so crowded at 8am that there wasn't one piece of equipment that didn't have a person on it, including all the free weights - it was wall to wall bodies. It was the smallest gym on any cruise ship we've ever seen. Overall, I would not go again and if I hadn't already booked a cruise on the Harmony for next year before I set sail on this cruise, I would not have chosen another big ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship was huge. Our rooms were toward the back of the ship and when we board after excursions, it was a looooooong walk to the room. It was well organized for carrying so many people. The our dining room waiters, Sabastiao and Agusie, ... Read More
The ship was huge. Our rooms were toward the back of the ship and when we board after excursions, it was a looooooong walk to the room. It was well organized for carrying so many people. The our dining room waiters, Sabastiao and Agusie, were fantastic with our granddaughter. Our room steward was very good and our room was made up as soon as we left so it was ready when we came back. Our granddaughter (5 years old) really liked the child's climbing platforms and the dining room. The staff was really friendly and helpful. The piano stairs were another big hit with us. I like being able to carry my own bags off from our room. The food was very good and well presented. Overall, it was a fun time and we enjoyed the ship. It was our granddaughter's first cruise and that made it extra special, but I will be sticking with Princess and Carnival for ocean and Scenic for riverboats (can't afford their ocean cruises). Downside: First: Stay AWAY from the art auction and drawing. My daughter went to it and was the only one there. She sat through the whole talk and was even looking at the pictures after they announced it was over. After 10 minutes after the announcement, 2 ladies walked in, they had the drawing and one of the ladies that came in after the presentation was done won the picture. End of story - it's rigged! Left a very bad feeling about the trip. I hate Royal's website. It is very hard to use and it was the hardest bookings I have ever done. I couldn't even get my youngest daughter and her husband's booking to tie with my other two bookings until a month before we left because they said it was because they had a different last name. Now you can't tell me they don't have thousands of bookings with different last names tied together. Finally did get it done. But had to call the company every time I wanted to do anything. Crowded elevators. Sometimes we had to wait 20 minutes for an elevator. If I didn't have bad knees the stairs would not have been a problem. Zip lines rules. They need to be posted in the daily newsletter so you don't waste your time walking up their to be told 1 rule at a time. Then they wouldn't let me go on it because I couldn't take off my wedding ring because it won't come off my finger. I don't like all the extra charges they put on things. It looks like you have a lot of places to eat, but only if you want to pay extra for them. And on that note, they put all of our on-board credit on my husband's card and none on mine so at the end of the cruise he had a credit and I ended up having to pay for the things I used my card for. I much prefer Princess and Carnival where the cards are linked together and you share. I don't like the way you have to order a whole bunch of pictures off a computer screen at the end of your excursions and also on the ship. It is confusing and I ended up with a lot of stuff I really don't want. Overall it was a fun cruise for our granddaughter's first cruise, but not one I would take for myself and husband. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise as an introduction to Royal Caribbean after 2 sailings on Disney and 1 on Holland America. I was looking for a ship with plenty of activities, a good mix of people of all ages and interests, and with an itinerary we ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an introduction to Royal Caribbean after 2 sailings on Disney and 1 on Holland America. I was looking for a ship with plenty of activities, a good mix of people of all ages and interests, and with an itinerary we hadn't yet tried. This sailing checked all of the boxes, so I booked it. We booked a Guarantee Balcony Stateroom, and were assigned to a specific room about 30 days before we sailed. Our room was on Deck 10, all the way aft, which meant I earned at least 10,000 steps every single day. It also meant I could have dessert each night. Embarkation was a breeze! We arrived at around 10:45am, and with a security check (somehow the magnetic hooks triggered the security scan) and a bathroom break, we were on the ship in about 15-20 minutes. So easy! The stateroom was clean and new, and while I had heard the sofa would have a trundle, it did not. This stateroom only slept 3, which was fine but not ideal for us. The shows on this ship were amazing. Best shows I have ever seen on a cruise, for sure. The food in the main dining rooms as great. No complaints! Our serving team was great, and they took excellent care of us. The ports and excursions were great. No complaints. Debarkation was a breeze as well. Facial recognition and self-debarkation had us off the ship and in a taxi in 15 minutes or less. Great cruise! Read Less
Symphony of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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